Presently no relevant nursing data exist in Germany on the effect of mobilization according to kinaesthetic principles on the physiological system, on locomotion and the sensory system. The effect of two different versions of mobilization was measured in a unicentric, open, randomized study with two parallel groups from December 1999 to October 2000 in the intermediate ICU for patients after heart surgery at Ulm University Hospital. The aim was, to show superiority of kinaesthetic mobilization, compared to empirically developed standard mobilization on patients after aortal coronary bypass surgery, with reference to respiratory function. The two protocols of mobilization were carefully coordinated with precise plans of action and timing. A total of 104 subjects were randomized to the two groups. In the kinaesthetic mobilization group (n = 52) median age was 67.5 years, ten (19.2%) were female and 42 (80.8%) were male. In the standard mobilization group (n = 52) median age was 69 years, eight (15.4%) were female and 44 (84.6%) were male. The main outcome variable was the respiratory minute volume 30 minutes after the second mobilization minus the respiratory minute volume prior to the second mobilization. The median change in respiratory minute volume was 0.4 ltr/min. (-5.1 to 3) in the group with kinaesthetic mobilization and median 0.3 ltr/min (-6.0 to +9.1) in the standard mobilization group. Superiority of kinaesthetic mobilization compared to standard mobilization could not be proven (p = 0.38). Also in the secondary outcome variables the kinaesthetic mobilization showed no superiority over standard mobilization. The respiratory minute volume data within points of measure show that subjects in the kinaesthetic group have less extreme results (> 12 ltr.). In the area < 5 ltr. there is a similar tendency. This may point out that regulation between movement of body, respiration and circulatory system occurs more continuous in kinaesthetic mobilization than the standard mobilization. A similar tendency was seen in the secondary outcomes variables. Subjectively nurses noted that kinaesthetic mobilization was less strenuous than standard mobilization, even though subjects in the kinaesthetic group showed more mobility restriction (37%) than in the standard group (15%). From before to after the first mobilization the percentage of subjects needing less pain medication was higher in the kinaesthetic group (35%), compared to the standard group (19%). There were no serious adverse events in either group. The concept of kinaesthetic mobilization showed no negative effect on subjects compared to empirically developed standard mobilization. There was no diagnosis of pneumonia and none of instabile sternum on any of the subjects in this study. Also, there was no negative effect on the sternum due to the light support arms gave to sitting up and rotating movements in the area of thorax and pelvis on subjects in the kinaesthetic group. The subjects early trust in their own varied movement and the possible effects of kinaesthetic mobilization in later phases of recuperation was not explored in this study.